Recently I was asked to ask this question on our social media sites.
What question regarding lung cancer would u most like to have answered by an oncologist or researcher?
I wanted to take a minute to ask my own!
I'd like to ask these medical professionals, WHAT do they think we can change about the medical education system and operating healthcare facilities to get them to recognize that lung cancer isn't simply a smokers disease? How can we emphasize the importance of not being single focused or narrow-minded?
Recently the Chicago Tribune posted a story titled Cancer on the Run. You can read the original story here. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-cancer-20100723,0,1099262.story
It is my personal opinion as a lung cancer patient advocate that this article perpetuates the stigma attached to lung cancer- that it is only a smokers disease. I couldn't help but reply to this article. I hope others will as well.
One of my support group members asked this question most eloquently. I thought I'd share with all of you my perspective...
Since my diagnosis, I sometimes forget that every sunrise I see entitles me to call myself a cancer Survivor.
Some of us think we can only acknowledge anniversaries in terms of years. But seasons, months, weeks, and even days since diagnosis are important milestones.....how long do you have to survive to call yourself a "survivor"? ~Leslie.
It’s been a month since we officially launched the organization formed by the merger of LUNGevity Foundation and Protect Your Lungs. And what a month! So much has happened… In that month, we’ve had a number of accomplishments:
Last month I joined tens of thousands of other advocates and cancer specialists at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Like most, I hoped to learn about the newest research, and the latest breakthroughs in (lung) cancer. With my basic knowledge of science, I absorbed a lot of information about genetic mutations, targeted therapies, advancements in the development of novel agents, and in some cases the disappointment of what were thought to be promising treatments.
As a caregiver I felt a great sense of helplessness watching my dad fight lung cancer and then pass away from the disease. His diagnosis and death 11 months and 21 days later changed the course of my life and set me on a mission to a calling I never knew existed before.
Besides my family, LUNGevity has been the closest thing to my heart for the past nine years. When I first got involved it was about what lung cancer had done to ME. Over the years, my passion and determination has evolved – in more ways than just adding ‘patient’ to my lung cancer resume that already includes granddaughter, daughter, niece and friend. My story is just part of a much bigger story and a much bigger fight.